A third of 10 and 11-year-olds obese in two areas of London

shutterstock_291654485-2London’s record on childhood obesity has been poor and getting worst for some time. But data for small areas released by Public Health England raise new levels of concern as in two neigbbourhoods a third of the 10 and 11-year old children are now obese.

In the electoral ward of Camberwell Green, Southwark 34% of Year 6 children are obese. In Hoxton West in Hackney its 33%.  Only one other area of England has a higher level – 35% in Sutton-on-Sea in Lincolnshire.

The Public Health England data covers nearly 7,500 electoral wards in England and it shows that six of the ten worst areas for childhood obesity among Year 6 children are in London.

Obesity Year 6 wards-2

It’s a similar pattern for children in Reception, aged 4 and 5, where Woodberry Down ward in Hackney has the worst record in the country and a rate that is double the England average. Six other neighbourhoods in the capital are also among the worst ten in England for this age group.

Obesity reception ward-2

This small area data is gathered by Public Health England to help target resources to combat child weight problems.

The poor record on obesity for primary school children is reflected more broadly at borough level and underlines that London has one of the most severe problems in the country.

At Reception age,  six of the ten local authorities with the highest rates are in London.  The highest level local authority average rate in the England is nearly 14% in Barking and Dagenham. Greenwich, Newham, Hackney, Southwark and Tower Hamlets all have rates of 12% or above.

The obesity rates in these boroughs doubles for Year 6 children. Enfield and Westminster also have more than a quarter of Year 6 children classified as obese.  Eight of the ten local authorities in England with the highest obesity rates for 10 and 11-year olds are in London.

Source data

See also

How the obesity rate doubled for the class of 2007

Childhood obesity highest in London

Thousands of children sent to hospital because of tooth decay

 

How well qualified are people in your borough?

exam roomParts of East London are seeing a massive rise in the proportion of people with degree-level qualifications.

Since 2004 the proportion of working-age people who are graduates or have a similar level of qualification has nearly trebled in Newham.  In Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Bexley it has gone up by more than 130%.

Despite the recent increases these boroughs still have some of the lowest levels of people educated to what is called NVQ4+ level. This includes bachelor and post-graduate degrees, HNC, HND, BTEC higher level and some professional qualifications, such as nursing and accountancy.

Qualification map

Havering has the lowest level in the capital with 28% while in inner London boroughs at least half the working-age population has reached this level of education.

In the City of London 88% of people are graduates or the equivalent. In the wealthy south west areas of Wandsworth and Richmond it is more than 70%.

London has a better qualified workforce than any other region of the UK.  In London, 52% of people have been educated to NVQ4+ level compared to 38% for England as a whole.  Just 7% of Londoners have no academic or professional qualifications.

Source data

See Also

The city’s workforce: best qualified in the UK and getting smarter

Far more 16-year-olds staying in school in London than across the UK

 

Landlords putting the brakes on rent rises

Modern flats

The rise in London rental prices is slowing down.

In a bit of good news for tenants and bad news for private landlords, figures from the Office for National Statistics show that rents in London are now rising slower than the average for the rest of England.

In the 12 month to the March this year rents in the capital had gone up by 1.6% compared to 2.4% across the rest of England, according to data from the ONS Index of Private Housing Rental Prices. This is in line with a trend in the year-on-year figures since November last year when London slipped behind average rise for the rest of country.

Before August 2015,  London rental prices were rising much faster than elsewhere.

rent rise march 2017

A regional breakdown of the data shows that the 1.6% rate of increase in London is the same as Yorkshire and Humberside. Rents in five other regions of the England are now climbing faster than the capital.  This includes the East and West Midlands, East of England, the South West and the South East. The increase in the South East over the period was 3.4%.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) says that the demand for rental property across the country remains steady but the number of new landlords instructing letting agents is down for the sixth month in a row.  This may increase pressure on prices, but RICS says that London is the exception to this. In its most recent monthly survey of the residential property market  it says that rents will continue to ‘soften’ in coming months and then remain broadly static for the year ahead.

While that may be a welcome forecast for more than a quarter of Londoners who rent their homes from private landlords, the amount they pay each month is still more than double the average for the rest of the UK.

Source data

See also

What you need to know about renting in London

Families face the biggest premiums for renting homes in the capital

More “affordable” homes but the rents prove unaffordable for many

Is Kensington really safer than Battersea? The answer may surprise you

Kensington Chelsea

A multi-million pound divorce case in the High Court had to consider an interesting London question this week, the relative safety of some neighbourhoods.

A woman fighting her ex husband for a settlement that includes a £5 million house in Kensington told the court that she felt ‘frightened’ when she left the area. She had rejected alternative homes suggested by her ex valued at around £2.5 million in the ‘less opulent’ areas of Shepherd’s Bush and Battersea.

But was her faith in the security of the Royal Borough misplaced?  As the couple remain anonymous it’s not possible to look at the exact locations of all the homes involved but the crime rates for the different boroughs may offer some surprises.

Affluent and exclusive Kensington and Chelsea has a crime rate of 121 offences per 1,000 residents, according to data from the GLA.  It’s the fourth highest rate in London and well above the city average of 84.

Shepherd’s Bush is in the borough of Hammersmith and Fulham.  It neighbours Kensington and Chelsea and has a slightly lower crime rate of 113 offences per 1,000 residents.

The more secure option may have been the Battersea home.  Battersea is in the borough of Wandsworth where crime is well below average at 72 per 1,000 people.

The judge, Mrs Justice Roberts, ruled that the alternatives put forward by the ex-husband were in ‘respectable and established family residential areas’.

She said: “Even allowing for the fact that she clearly has an anxious personality, I am not persuaded that any of these areas can be characterised as unsafe or inappropriate, devoid of the kind of amenities usually associated with areas occupied by professional families and others.”

The judge decided that the woman needed a housing fund of £2.5 million not the £5 million she was asking for.

If safety is her utmost concern then she might consider boroughs where the crime rate is less than half that of Kensington and Chelsea. Harrow has the lowest crime rate in London – just 50 crimes per 1,000 residents.  In Bexley the rate is 52 and in Sutton it is just 56.  None, of course, are as fashionable.

Crime rate

Source data

See also

London Borough Profiles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Might Brexit reverse a fall in new citizens?

The number of new Londoners taking their final step to British citizenship has fallen to its lowest level since 2004.

Figures from the Home Office show that in 2015 some 37,118 adults attended a formal citizenship ceremony where they took an oath or affirmation of allegiance and received their certificate of citizenship.  This is the lowest number since the ceremonies were first introduced in 2004 as the final and compulsory stage of the citizenship process.

Once a citizenship application is granted the Home Office sends out an invitation letter and an individual must attend a ceremony within three months.

The number attending in London has fallen by more than 7,000 on 2014 and is down by 43% from a highpoint in 2009, when more than 65,000 people attended ceremonies.

The ceremonies are organised by local authorities and were introduced by the government to foster the idea that gaining citizenship was an event to be celebrated rather than simply a bureaucratic process.  Other countries including the USA, Canada and Australia do the same.

The first ever ceremony was carried out in Brent.  Last year 1,885 people attended events there, the highest number in London, closely followed by Newham and Hounslow.

The lowest number of new citizens proclaiming their allegiance to Queen and country were in the boroughs of Richmond, Kingston and Bexley. The small resident population of the City of London welcomed 17 new members to its community in 2015.

Citizenship London Map-2

The fall in London is reflected across the country.  The number of citizenship ceremonies peaked nationally in 2013 but have fallen back in the past two years

Citizenship since 2004

London retains its position for welcoming the bulk of new Britons.  Since 2004 around half of the ceremonies for the whole country took place in the capital.  Last year it was 45% and 16 of the London boroughs each had more ceremonies than the whole of Wales.

Citizenship regional

The latest data from the Home Office for the number of applications granted, the stage ahead of the final ceremony, show that numbers may be going up.  The national figures for the 12 months up to the end of June, which includes the period running up to the Brexit referendum, show that 40,000 more people gained British citizenship than in the 12 months to June 2015.

The figures do not show what impact this upturn has on London, but given the large proportion of applicants who make their home in the capital the numbers suggest that 2016 will see a rising number of ceremonies and new citizens after the drop in 2015.

Source data

See also

Our multi-lingual city – English second language for half of primary pupils

London is more diverse than the UN or Fifa

London’s unique language landscape where 26% don’t speak English at home

A tenth of Londoners won’t get a vote but may feel the impact of the EU referendum

 

Growth of preventable cases of diabetes threaten the health service

Obese copy

The number of people in London suffering from diabetes will rocket by 40% over the next 20 years, according to forecasts from Public Health England.

Its figures show that in 2016 there are 638,000 people over 16 with diabetes. But rising rates coupled with a growing population means that this will go up by more than a quarter of million to 895,000 by 2035.

PHE says that around 90% of the new cases will be Type 2 diabetes, which is caused by lifestyle factors and linked to obesity. It says these cases are preventable and tackling the problem is fundamental to the future of the health service.

John Newton of Public Health England said: “Developing diabetes in not an inevitable part of ageing.  We have the opportunity through public health to reverse this trend and safeguard the health of the nation and the future of the NHS.”

The PHE forecasts reveals a wide discrepancy in rates across the capital.  Brent has the highest rate of diabetes not only in London but in England with 11.5% of people with the condition today.  Kingston has the lowest rate in England at 6.7%.

The highest rates after Brent are in Harrow, Redbridge and Ealing. The lowest, apart from  Kingston, are in Richmond, Wandsworth and Islington.

Diabetes rate 2016

Both Brent and Kingston will retain their positions as the boroughs with the highest and lowest rates in England by 2035.  The rate in Brent will climb to 13.6% of the population.

The record in Ealing, Harrow and Redbridge will remain poor and Newham will be second only to Brent with a rate of 12.7%.

Kingston’s rate will rise to 7.6%, with neighbouring Richmond, plus Wandsworth and Islington remaining among the areas with lowest rates.

Diabetes 2035

The data shows a worsening situation throughout London over the next two decades.  Today there are seven boroughs where the prevalence of diabetes in the population is above 10%. By 2035 the rate is forecast to be one in ten or higher in 17 areas.

The biggest change in the rate of the condition between 2016 and 2035 is forecast to be in Tower Hamlets where the rate will go up by 24%.  The borough is also expected to see the biggest growth in population in the coming decades, as reported by Urbs. The combination of these factors will place severe pressure on local health services.

Diabetes is caused by the inability of the body to regulate the amount of sugar in the blood. It is associated with an increased risk of stroke and heart attack. Sufferers may also develop kidney disease and foot ulcers, which can lead to amputation.

Source data

More diabetes stories

See also

Sportiest Londoners live in the wealthier south west boroughs

How the obesity rate doubled for the class of 2007

Size matters – and it depends where you live

 

Drug deaths hit their highest level for 15 years

heroin

The number of people killed by drug abuse in London is at its highest level this century.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that 298 people died due to misuse of illegal substances in 2015, the highest number since 1999. It is also the highest death rate since the late 90s – 35 per million residents.

The rate of drug deaths has been increasing since 2012 after a downward trend this century from high points in the late 90s.  But although it has risen, the capital still has the second lowest mortality rate of all the regions in England and Wales. Only the East Midlands has a lower rate than London. The highest death rates are now in the North East, North West, Wales, and Yorkshire and Humberside.

Drug death rate regions-2

This is a turnaround from 1993, when the current data record begins.  London had the highest mortality rate and accounted for 23% of all deaths.  In 2015 that had halved to 12% of deaths as the problem of illegal drug misuse has become more widespread.

Drug death comparison-2

Across London, Haringey and central areas of Westminster, Lambeth, Southwark Camden, Islington and Tower Hamlets have that most serious problems.  The data at borough level is gathered for three-year periods due to very low numbers in some areas.  From 2013 to 2015, 43 people died in Haringey and 42 in both Westminster and Lambeth.

map drug deeaths 2015-2

There were fewer than 20 deaths in the period in most of the outlying boroughs, and in Merton, Barking and Dagenham and among the small population of the City of London the number of deaths was in single figures.

Source data

See also

Low drug-related death rates hide middle-aged heroin problem

Teenage survey finds that Richmond has highest level of cannabis use

Violence, disruption and drugs – why 20,000 pupils were excluded from school last year

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smoking on the rise in six boroughs but the city is stubbing out the habit

Smoking-2Against the general trend of both the city and the country, smoking has increased in six boroughs since 2012.

The latest data gathered by the Office for National Statistics through its large-scale Annual Population Survey reveals that the rate of smoking in 2015 compared to 2012 was up in Harrow, Haringey, Kensington and Chelsea, Kingston, Newham and Tower Hamlets.

The biggest increase, of nearly 14%, was in Harrow, but the overall level of smoking remains low in the borough. Haringey, Newham and Tower Hamlets experienced an increase on rates that are among the highest in London.

smoking change 12-15-2

Although the increases are mostly small they are significant in the context of falling rates across the rest of the capital.  The average rate for London has gone down from 18.2% who said they were smokers in 2012 to 16.3% in 2015.  In Redbridge the rate fell by more than 30% over that period, according to the ONS figures. There were also steep declines in Brent and Bromley.

The data does not reveal the reason behind these changes.  It may be the consequence of changing habits or changes in the make up of the population in areas. It may be due to people aswering questions more honestly, as the survey relies on individuals to define themselves as smokers.

The rate of smoking in London is among the lowest for any region in England.  Across England 16.9% of people say that they are smokers. The rate is lower than that in 20 London boroughs.  The lowest rate in London is 11.5% in Redbridge, but it is nearly double that in Haringey where 22% of people said they smoked in 2015.  In five boroughs – Haringey, Lambeth, Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Newham –  two or more in every ten people smoke.

Smoking rates-2

Apart from Redbridge, Richmond, Brent and Bromley all have a rate of smoking at around 12% or lower.

There are a number of measures of smoking carried out across the country.  A survey at GP surgeries of people over 15 carried out over two year periods found the level of smoking in London fractionally higher in 2014/15 than the most recent ONS data, It also recorded small rises in a handful of boroughs.

Source data

See Also

Police taking a relaxed approach to ban on smoking in cars

Low birth weight babies in Tower Hamlets 60% above London average

Teenage survey finds that Richmond has highest level of cannabis use

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cycle hires hit a record monthly high

Santander bike Chris Warham shutterstock_307029647-2

Photo: Chris Warham | Shutterstock

July 2016 was the most successful month for Santander Cycle hire since the bike-sharing scheme was first introduced in 2010.

A record 1.18 million bikes were hired across London last month, an average of 38,000 hires a for each day of the month.  The data from Transport for London shows that on three days, 19th, 30th and 31st of July there were more than 46,000 hires. The average hire time was 23 minutes.

The monthly total beats the previous record for July 2014 by 5,200.  Summer months always prove the most popular times and monthly hires were also over one million in May and just under in June.  The number of hires in January and February this year was around half the July total.

The city bike scheme was introduced on 30th July 2010. In the first two days 12,000 bikes were hired and in the first month 340,000 as the scheme was rolled out across the boroughs and the docking stations became a familiar sight on the streets.

The data shows that the most popular day in the scheme’s six-year existence was 9th July last year when 73,000 bikes were hired.  On the 6th August that year the second highest total was recorded of 64,000.

Mainline stations are the popular hire points, as previously reported by Urbs, as commuters arriving from outside London and make their way to work in the morning and afternoon rush hours.

But the hire data at major landmarks and parks also suggests that tourists may be the biggest users of the bikes, with routes across Hyde Park among the most popular. The data shows that weekends see the largest usage and the most popular weekday for hire is a Thursday.

The bike sharing scheme was introduced by Boris Johnson when he was Mayor and the bicycles  became known as Boris bikes despite a sponsorship deal with Barclays.  Santander took over sponsorship of the scheme last year, but the bikes have not gone on to be re-named Sadiq cycles.

Source data

See also

Tourists biggest users of Boris Bikes

Americans back on top as London’s biggest visitors

How London compares for the cost of public transport